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Energy Working Group Makes Strides Promoting Bird Conservation/Energy Issue

By Matthew Cimitile, AMJV, and Laura Kearns, Ohio Department of Natural Resources

The AMJV and partners are working to assess energy-related risks and determine the potential impact of land-use changes on bird populations from expanded and new energy extraction. Energy extraction in the Appalachians is a fact, and the AMJV Energy Working Group was established to be proactive in working with energy industry to minimize the impacts to birds and the landscape.

This year the Working Group began to develop an effective, all stakeholder value-added approach and engagement strategy to work with industry. Key aspects of the strategy so far include focusing on fragmentation of forest cores, encouraging management of shrubby habitat in regards to pipelines and pad sites, and promoting best practices such as restoring decommissioned hydraulic fracturing pad sites and consolidating infrastructure.

The group is also hosting an energy webinar series for the AMJV community that promotes current research, activities and success stories pertaining to bird conservation and energy development in order to implement solutions to mitigate impacts throughout the region. This past year saw webinars focused on pipeline expansions, impacts on Marcellus Shale Gas development on forest birds, and tools to address energy development in the Appalachians. The AMJV Energy Working Group will continue to host future webinars throughout 2017 as well as finalize its engagement strategy to begin to constructively work with industry in the near future.